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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA protecting ‘A’ logo from high schools unnecessary

    In the original version of this article, the description of how Appomattox County High School will be required to phase out its logo was not entirely clear. The Daily Wildcat has corrected the wording for clarity and apologizes for any confusion. The corrected version ran in print.

    Over the summer, the UA sent Appomattox County High School in Virginia a cease and desist letter regarding its large “A” logo.

    The UA said the high school’s blue and grey block “A” was identical to the UA’s red, white and blue block “A.” The schools reached an agreement and Appomattox will phase out its logo.
    A large institution like the UA, with a total enrollment of more than 34,000 students, should not have sent that letter to a high school of more than 600 students over the “A” design. To spend money and take legal action against the school, whose district has barely a fraction of the students that the UA does, is unnecessary.

    Appomattox will have to phase out the “A” logo over time, according to a Times-Virginian news article.

    Alixe Holcomb, director of trademarks and licensing at the UA, said in a previous Daily Wildcat article that it wasn’t about causing financial hardship, but it was a duty to protect UA’s brand.

    The UA brings in an outrageous amount of money per year, the kind of money I am sure Appomattox County High School has never seen at once. In fact, the UA brings in so much money, it can afford to spend $538,000 on its General Counsel, according to the UA’s fiscal year 2013 budget distribution. The General Counsel is made up of 10 attorneys, six administrative staff members and one vice president for legal affairs and the counsel.

    Frankly, no UA student, faculty member or alumni wants to see Arizona State University or the University of Alabama with our block “A.” But I doubt the Wildcat community would have been worked up about the Virginia high school’s logo before it hit newsstands.

    “As an institution that promotes education, I find it strange that we would do anything that hindered another school,” said Brittany McEvoy, a psychology senior. “Especially financially, since schools have seen consistent budget decreases.”

    Aside from the difference in colors in Appomattox County High School’s variation of the block “A,” a distinguishing element of Arizona’s “A” is the total serif “A” inside the block letter, which Appomattox lacks. It’s a technical distinction, but nonetheless, it’s different. To have even found this school’s logo in the thousands of high schools across the country is baffling.

    “I have never heard of the high school and don’t really think a small school using a logo would cause any threat to something as large as a university,” McEvoy said.

    It seems as though tuition money and “miscellaneous” charges are going toward a committee set aside for investigating and scoping out every little town’s school logo that shows even the slightest resemblance to the UA’s trademark.

    It’s hard to say whether a majority of people have heard of Appomattox County High School or even Appomattox County, Va. Regardless, its block “A” logo never posed such a threat that was worth the high school having to fund all of these upcoming changes.

    Ashley T. Powell is a journalism senior. Follow her @ashleytaylar.

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